Search Console

Google Search Console, previously Webmaster Tools, is a free tool provided by Google for website owners to monitor performance and traffic, as well as providing optimisation recommendations and fixes. Our Hangout Notes cover a range of advice from Google to help you better understand and get the most out of this fundamental SEO tool.

Search Console Index Status is More Accurate than Google Site Search

February 21, 2020 Source

The Search Console index status is extremely accurate, whereas the site search command does not include everything which is indexed, and the search count shown is generated quickly instead of accurately.

GSC Fresh Data Isn’t Available in the API

February 18, 2020 Source

When using a tool like Google Data Studio, you may see inconsistent performance data from GSC as the fresh data isn’t included in the API. This is because processing work is often required to clean up the fresh data first before including it in the API.

GSC Click Data is Attributed to Pages Shown in SERPs, Not Pages They Redirect To

February 18, 2020 Source

If a website is set up to redirect depending on elements like the user’s IP address, Google Search Console will attribute click data to the source page that is shown in the SERPs that is clicked on, rather than a redirection target page.

The Remove Cache Tool in GSC Doesn’t Affect Live Indexing

February 18, 2020 Source

The remove cache tool in Google Search Console simply hides the cached page from the search results and removes the snippet, but it doesn’t impact the indexing of the page.

If You Have A Manual Action in Place GSC Will Still Show the Page as Indexed

February 7, 2020 Source

If you have a manual action or URL removal in place, the inspect URL tool in Search Console will still show a page as indexed but it won’t display in search results. This is because the manual action and URL removal are filters which happen on top of the search results, so the page can still be indexed but not shown.

Use GSC to Identify If There Are Any Errors With a Site’s URL Structure After a Migration

January 31, 2020 Source

After completing a site migration, John recommends using GSC to compare the queries and positions the site was ranking for before and after the change. This will identify if there are any errors with Google’s understanding of the new URL structure and identify if the migration has impacted traffic to the site and where this has occurred.

GSC Live Test Doesn’t Always Reflect How Pages Are Rendered for Indexing Purposes

January 24, 2020 Source

An ‘other error’ occurs in Google Search Console live tests when it doesn’t get around to fetching the URL in that particular test, for example a resource file. When crawling a page for indexing purposes Google will spend more time fetching and caching the embedded URLs in order to be able to render them properly.

URLs Appearing in the Side Bar Knowledge Panel of Search Results Will Be Classed as Position 10 or 11

January 24, 2020 Source

Google may sometimes display a result in the right sidebar, which is a mix between a knowledge panel and featured snippet. John expects this page will be seen by Google Search Console as position 10 or 11, because it is classed as being in the second column of search results.

There is No Change to the Position Shown For URLs in Featured Snippets within GSC

January 24, 2020 Source

GSC uses the top-most position of a URL to show as the average in the Performance reports. This hasn’t changed despite the update to how featured snippets are displayed, so if your page is shown in a featured snippet, the position shown will remain the same. However, if you no longer have the featured snippet then the position of the traditional search result will be used instead.

Related Topics

Voice Search Search Algorithms Search Queries Rich Snippets Featured Snippets Penalties PageRank SERPs Core Web Vitals